Immunex Corp. said it will cut costs, beginning this quarter, withthe elimination of 37 positions. It will, however, incur a $1.7million charge in the third quarter as a result of the move.In addition to the layoffs announced Monday, the Seattle-basedcompany cut 14 sales-related job in July. About 775 people remainwith the company."Our goal is to get sales, general and administrative rate below $15million per quarter and improve our overall bottom-lineperformance," Michael Kranda, the company's president and chiefoperating officer, told BioWorld.Robin Shapiro, manager of communications for Immunex, said thecompany also will drop its research programs in rational drugdesign and new hematopoietic factors. Kranda said it would bemore efficient to work with collaborators or other third parties inthose areas."We're refocusing some of our research dollars into clinical andpreclinical projects," Shapiro told BioWorld. "Our clinical prioritiesare still Leukine, Pixykine and Novantrone."Immunex posted a loss of about $11.7 million in the second quarteron revenues of about $34 million.Leukine, the company's flagship drug, is a granulocyte macrophagecolony-stimulating factor that stimulates white blood cells. Italready is approved for use in bone marrow transplant patients. Anew drug application has been filed for Leukine in acutemyelogenous leukemia, and the drug is being tested in otherindications.Immunex merged with Lederle Oncology Corp., a unit of AmericanCyanamid Co., in 1993. American Cyanamid, which will payImmunex about $45 million in April 1995 for contractualobligations from 1994, owns 54 percent of Immunex. _ Jim Shrine
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